Everyone loves the top players, but people also love the triers, the not quite good enough for your team, but you’ll ironically cheer them anyway. It’s not their fault they ended up at a club that doesn’t match their ability. Then there are the players that were great elsewhere and perform about effectively as a play-doh padlock. Read on to find out about the truly shocking signings from football history
Ali Dia – Fee Agent to Southampton
Probably the most ridiculous transfer story in history, the story of how this came about has become legendary. A man claiming to be George Weah (who at the time was a three-time African football of the year and playing for AC Milan in their heyday) phoned up Graeme Souness and said that his cousin, Ali Dia was playing for Senegal and had played for Paris Saint Germain. As it turns out, it was a student who was friends with Dia. Souness signed him on a one-month deal and played him in a match before ever watching him play. He was subbed on for Saints Legend Matt Le Tissier and subbed off again. He was released two weeks into his contract. One of football’s most bizarre signings. If you want to impersonate being a footballer, like Ali Dia, check these deals from Groupon, where you can pick up football shirts for all kinds of clubs.
Jonathan Woodgate – Newcastle United to Real Madrid
Woodgate was a classy centre back when fit and was tipped to go on to be an England great. He signed for Real Madrid for £13.4 million whilst injured and didn’t play a game for over a year, On his debut, he scored an own goal and was sent off, so the Madridistas didn’t really take to him. In his three years at the club, he made 9 appearances before returning to England with Middlesbrough. In a poll by Marca, he was voted as Madrid’s worst ever signing and won 37.8% of the vote.
Andy Carroll – Newcastle United to Liverpool
Andy Carroll is a throwback to a time when English soccer played with a big man up front at number 9. He’s an all-action player who when fit can cause all kind of problems for defenders. He made his debut with Newcastle United aged 17 and spent five years at St James’ Park playing 80 times and scoring 31 goals. This attracted the attention of Liverpool who had just sold Fernando Torres to Chelsea for £50 million. With that deal just going through and Liverpool looking for a striker to go with Luis Suarez, who they just signed, they loosened the purse strings and splashed out £35 million on the young striker, then only 22. Carrol wasn’t really what Liverpool needed. He didn’t suit their style and only made 44 appearances in two years, scoring six goals.
Fernando Torres – Liverpool to Chelsea
Fernando Torres was a great striker in his time, scoring 33 goals in his first season with Liverpool. He was the focal point of a team that promised much but won nothing and was the apple of the Kop’s eye. There were actually Liverpudlians crying in the street when his transfer to Chelsea was announced for £50 million. Little did they know that Torres was to suffer the same fate that countless strikers have faced over the years when they sign for Chelsea – they inexplicably don’t perform. There are many strikers who have fallen foul of the curse of Chelsea’s style – Chris Sutton, Adrian Mutu, Mateja Kezman, Andriy Shevchenko and Hernan Crespo have all underperformed in the blue for various reasons. People didn’t expect Fernando Torres to fall foul of the same thing. Though he did win the FA Cup, Europa League and Champions League with them, a total of 20 goals in 100 appearances across 4 seasons left the Chelsea fans feeling blue. This video pretty much sums up Torres’ Chelsea career.